Sunday, March 31, 2013

April Book Club

Hello and happy April!!  It seems that our in-person book club is evolving into a monthly wine and snacks club :)  Regardless of the future impetus of our monthly meetings, I'm going to continue sharing my monthly reads with you, my online book club! :)

This month, we're (I'm?) reading A Mercy, by Toni Morrison.  I love her writing, and I'm so excited to read another work she's written.  I've got a library copy on loan for myself, but it will need a renewal or two- I'm so busy lately studying for the MTLE (I take it Friday, yikes!)...  But some pleasure reading is always relaxing :)

What are you reading this month?

Also, don't forget to enter my birthday giveaway!  There's only a few days left :)

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Saturday Snapshot: A New Blog Series

Hello blog friends!  Happy Saturday!  As a rule, I never posted on the weekends, but I thought I would start a new series thanks to my awesome new camera.  Every week, I'll post a picture I've taken.  I may or may not have a story to go with it, but there you have it!  My new blog series :)

And here is my first snapshot for you:

These are blossoms on my red shamrock; spring is in the air!

Make sure you enter my giveaway!  There's only a few days left :)

Happy Easter!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bacon and Eggs Pasta

I love breakfast foods, but I seldom eat a full on bacon and eggs breakfast in the morning.  I've got a routine that involves oatmeal, and it gets me out the door on time.  Not going to mess with that!  But I still want my bacon and eggs!  So, my solution is to eat them for dinner :)

To make this dish, you will need:
  • 3 strips of bacon per serving
  • 1 egg per serving
  • Spaghetti (as much or as little as your tummy tells you)
  • 1 slice of bread per serving
  • 1 pat of butter per serving
Now, I know I say this about basically every recipe I post, but this is SO easy!! 
  1. Boil your pasta
  2. Crisp and crumble your bacon
  3. Toast your bread and cut into cubes (I literally used scissors!)
  4. Fry an egg. 
Put it all together with a pat of butter in your pasta bed, and you've got a tasty breakfast-for-dinner meal!

Now, don't forget to enter my giveaway!  I'm giving one lucky reader a pair of earrings and an adorable nail polish.  All you have to do is follow and post a comment on the giveaway post!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Birthday Snapshots

It was my last time turning 20-something on Monday...  I decided to make a weekend of it, so here are some snapshots of the festivities :)
Chocolate cream birthday pie!

Pretty flowers from Catherine and some of the book club snack spread
WHAT?! I got an actual camera!!  John's gift to me... and kind of to you, too, since you won't have to look at anymore iPhone 3 pictures, woot!
The full whack Irish breakfast at The Anchor: birthday brunch!
A pretty scalloped cake stand turned into dresser organization
OPI nail polish in Can't Find My Czechbook and A Woman's Prague-Ative, also from the hubby.  How lucky can one girl be? :)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!  You could win a super cute nail polish and a pair of earrings-  Click here for the post!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Chocolate Cream Pie

When I was going to school in Missouri, my grandma would make me a chocolate cream pie every year for my birthday.  It's my absolute favorite, and I finally got the recipe so I can make it for myself!  My birthday is Monday (come back then for a birthday giveaway!), and so I'm making book club tonight into a little birthday celebration - complete with chocolate cream pie!

To make your own, you will need:
  • Milk
  • 2 containers of cool whip
  • 2 packages of chocolate instant pudding
  • Prebaked pie crust (I used store bought, but you can make one from scratch if you're feeling extra ambitious)
Add 1 1/2 cups of milk and the two packages of pudding mix to a large bowl.  Beat until well combined.

Stir in one entire container of cool whip.

Fill the pie crust with the chocolate cream filling.  This will be super full, we are talking serious chocolate here.

Place in the fridge and allow it to set for about 20 minutes.  Then, top with as much additional cool whip as you like!  Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DIY Braided Toggle Bracelet

This is my favorite type of project: something so simple to make, but pretty and functional too.

You will need:
  • Chain
  • Toggle clasp
  • Three kinds of ribbon:
    • Solid base color, approximately 1/4 inch wide
    • Complimentary sheer ribbon, approximately 1/2 inch wide
    • Contrasting thin ribbon, approximately 1/8 inch wide
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Needle and thread
To begin, tie your ribbons and chain in a knot, leaving about a foot of excess to braid.  This will be more than enough, but it makes the materials easier to handle.

Braid the four strands together in a simple braid, combining the sheer and the thin ribbon together.  This way, only tiny pops of the contrasting color will show.

Once you have enough braid to wrap around your wrist, remove the excess chain by using a needle nosed pliers to open one of the links.  After the excess chain is removed, close the same link around one end of your toggle clasp.  Thread the excess ribbon through the toggle clasp and stitch them in place, trimming the excess.

Repeat the process at the top with the other end of the toggle clasp, and you're done!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pet Profile Art

Happy Monday!  When I was growing up, I remember that my parents had silhouettes of my brother and me hanging in the house.  John's family had silhouettes of him and his sister as well.  Well, John and I don't have children, but we do have Inga!  So, I thought it would be fun (funny?) to make a silhouette of Inga as a piece of art for our home.

I started with a picture of Inga in profile:

Then, I opened it with, and added a layer so I could trace around her face.  I filled in the rest with white, so all I was left with was a black outline:

I cropped the outline to 8x10 proportions so I could enlarge it to fit our 16x20 frame.  Then, I took the outline to Kinko's on my jump drive and printed it out on a 16x20 piece of white paper.

I got two big pieces of poster board, one white and one in a fun color to use as the background.

Then, I simply cut out Inga's face and traced it onto the white poster board.  I cut this out again and secured it to the green poster board, cut down to size.

Voila!  Doggy pop art :)  I think it's cute and fun.  What do you think- is it fun art or are we just crazy dog people?

Friday, March 15, 2013

Stamped Makeup Pouch

I am so excited about this project to wrap up my week of stamping!!  I decided to use the floral stamps you saw in my stamped cookie post and the fabric paint from my shoe make over post and make my own patterned fabric.

I don't have a tutorial to share with you on how to make the pouch, frankly my sewing skills are next to nil.  If you saw the inside of the bag, you'd understand :)  Now, if you don't have the ambition to sew your own pouch, you can still use this idea- just buy a plain makeup bag and stamp around the outside!

So that wraps up my week of stamping!  Notes, cards, cookies, and fabric.  I really love how my makeup bag turned out (even if it is a little wonky), and I especially love that no one else will have this pattern/print!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stamped Cookies

I'm going a little nuts with the monogram stamp... but seriously, who doesn't want monogrammed cookies??  This would be super cute at a wedding or a shower.  I also used a little floral stamp on some smaller cookies, just for fun.

Use a good sugar cookie recipe that's billed as a cut-out recipe.  These tend to spread less during baking.  I used one from Martha Stewart.
Chill the dough before you roll it out for 1 hour or up to over night.  Then, roll out the dough and cut it in the shape you'd like, stamping as you go.  (Make sure those stamps are good and clean before using!)  Freeze the stamped cookies for fifteen minutes before baking.  This helps keep the stamp in place even while it bakes.

Ta da!  Can't wait to show you Friday's project :)
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